Machinery : Industrial Robot : Cobot
Since 2005, Universal Robots has worked to make a difference in our customers’ lives in ways that matter most to them. More than simply automation, Universal Robots changes how people work and live around the globe by empowering their ideas and dreams - whether it’s helping a non-profit improve people’s vision in the poorest countries or allowing a manufacturer to reduce the strain of repetitive tasks. Advanced tools, our easy-to-use robot arms are used by companies and organizations of all sizes to help and address market volatility. UR’s cobot solutions deliver the flexibility and financial return that manufacturers need to compete and win in any market condition.
Datanomix and Flexxbotics Partner to Automate Production Monitoring for Universal Robots
Datanomix, maker of the industry’s only Automated Production Intelligence™ software platform, announced support for monitoring Universal Robots for real-time visibility into robot performance. By partnering with Flexxbotics, a leader in robotics process improvement technology, Datanomix extends its automated production intelligence coverage to Universal Robot cells, helping power lights-out and automated operations at precision manufacturers.
Robot welding: Load programs and swap between parts in just 15 mins 🦾 pic.twitter.com/v5hESJ2ATf— Universal Robots (@Universal_Robot) May 19, 2022
Collaborative Robots Help Fiat Ramp Up EV Production
To produce the 500 EV, the Mirafiori factory received a €700 million facelift, including state-of-the-art technology such as collaborative robots. To automate a series of complex assembly line operations and quality controls, Stellantis installed 11 cobots from Universal Robots A/S.
Some of the assembly processes required the introduction of specific automation technologies to ensure the quality and repeatability needed to meet product standards. Another criteria was ergonomics, because of the average age of operators at the Mirafiori facility. The collaborative applications have addressed operating precision and quality, in addition to improving a series of production tasks previously performed manually.
How AMRs change the safety equation
Soon, manufacturers and buyers wanted clear safety standards for AMRs from organizations like A3. They asked, “What guidance can you provide through a standard to help us understand how we can assess the safety of these devices?” Wise was on the committee that created Mobile Robot Standard R15.08-1-2020, the new Mobile Industrial Safety Standard. In April, Fetch announced full conformance with the standard.
As far as safety standards, Universal Robots follows the ISO standard that came out in 2011 (ISO 10218-1). This ISO standard is Part 1 of ANSI/RIA R15.06. She noted that European companies, like Universal Robots, tend to have higher requirements for safety, given the requirements of the European Directives.
How AMRs change the safety equation
Autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) have evolved quickly, and safety guidelines are catching up, forcing manufacturers to adjust.
Manufacturers and buyers want clear safety standards for AMRs from organizations like A3. They asked, “What guidance can you provide through a standard to help us understand how we can assess the safety of these devices?” Wise was on the committee that created Mobile Robot Standard R15.08-1-2020, the new Mobile Industrial Safety Standard.
Industry 5.0: Adding the Human Edge to Industry 4.0
So, Industry 5.0 does not so much represent yet another Industrial Revolution but rather serves to augment Industry 4.0 technologies by strengthening the collaboration between humans and robots. With Industry 5.0, the nine pillars of Industry 4.0 are expanded upon by a drive to place human creativity and well-being at the center of industry – to merge the speed and efficiency of machine technologies with the ingenuity and talent of human counterparts.
The integration of cobots and humans bring the potential to personalize and customize goods at an industrial level. As cobots execute repetitive tasks with exacting and predictable efficiency, humans can oversee the process to ensure that real-time requests for customization are understood and realized.
Marlan Lets Cobot Perform Heavy Repetitive Sanding Work
One of the operations that are common when processing solid surface products is sanding. This is heavy, repetitive work that requires skilled personnel. Such personnel is becoming increasingly difficult to find. In addition, it is important that the quality is guaranteed. It became increasingly difficult for Marlan to organize this task properly. The company therefore went in search of a way to automate this process as much as possible.
After delivery, the cobot was deployed within two weeks. Heerema was able to program it within half an hour, without any programming experience. After the implementation and installation, two employees were trained and the cobot was fine-tuned to determine the correct pressure when sanding. This step was also the start of further optimizing other parts of the production. According to Heerema, some employees were immediately enthusiastic, but others were afraid of losing their jobs. “But that’s not what we’re about at all. We want to make it easier for employees and give them the opportunity to increase their output.” The employees are now fully accustomed to the cobot and see it as a kind of colleague.
The cobot at Marlan is currently used for sanding bathtubs. This is a large object that is difficult to sand manually. A major problem here is monitoring consistent quality. Heerema: “But with a cobot you can guarantee an even pressure which also ensures constant product quality.”
MiR+UR autonomous picking and transport
Plug-and-Play Robot Ecosystems on the Rise
Robot ecosystems are bringing plug-and-play ease to compatible hardware and software peripherals, while adding greater value and functionality to robots. Some might argue that the first robot ecosystem was the network of robot integrators that has expanded over the last couple decades to support robot manufacturers and their customers. Robot integrators continue to be vital to robotics adoption and proliferation. Yet an interesting phenomenon began to take shape a few years ago with the growing popularity of collaborative robots and the industry’s focus on ease of use.
Campbell describes the typical process for engineering a new gripping solution for a robot: “You have to first engineer a mechanical interface, which may mean an adapter plate, and maybe some other additional hardware. If you’re an integrator, it must be documented, because everything you do as an integrator you have to document. You have to engineer the electrical interface, how you’re going to control it, what kind of I/O signals, what kind of sensors. And then you have to design some kind of software.
“When I talk to integrators, they say it’s typically 1 to 3 days’ worth of work just to put a simple gripper on a robot. What we’ve been able to do in the UR+ program is chip away at time and cost throughout the project.”
3D Vision Technology Advances to Keep Pace With Bin Picking Challenges
When a bin has one type of object with a fixed shape, bin picking is straightforward, as CAD models can easily recognize and localize individual items. But randomly positioned objects can overlap or become entangled, presenting one of the greatest challenges in bin picking. Identifying objects with varying shapes, sizes, colors, and materials poses an even larger challenge, but by deploying deep learning algorithms, it is possible to find and match objects that do not conform to one single geometrical description but belong to a general class defined by examples, according to Andrea Pufflerova, Public Relations Specialist at Photoneo.
“A well-trained convolutional neural network (CNN) can recognize and classify mixed and new types of objects that it has never come across before,”
Making Welding Accessible to All
With the ongoing shortage of skilled workers and the pickup in the economy, suppliers of welding equipment are finding ways to making welding easier for those working in manufacturing. Automation is the leading technique among many.
“Manual welding is an area with a very high degree of repetitive motion injury, resulting in turnover and associated costs,” he said. “OSHA puts out a statistic that says any investment in safety yields a six-to-one payback. So, robotic welding is an investment in safety, as well as productivity and quality. Take all these factors into account and you get a pretty big payback number.”
Introducing Amazon SageMaker Reinforcement Learning Components for open-source Kubeflow pipelines
Woodside Energy uses AWS RoboMaker with Amazon SageMaker Kubeflow operators to train, tune, and deploy reinforcement learning agents to their robots to perform manipulation tasks that are repetitive or dangerous.
You're Hired: Recruiting Mobile Robots
While industrial robots have been part of the automation mix for decades, key advances in sensors, artificial intelligence (AI), software, machine vision, and light detection and ranging (LiDAR), among other technologies, are coalescing to empower an emerging category of more capable mobile and collaborative robots that are easier to program, less expensive to deploy, and far more flexible in the kinds of tasks they can perform.
Can a cobot offer the flexibility of a human on the shop floor?
Since the Great Recession more than a decade ago, metal fabricators aren’t necessarily employing people unless they are absolutely needed. Manufacturing companies are lean, which helps to keep fixed costs down and the business more manageable when business slows.
It’s also a gamble. Unless shop floor personnel are cross-trained, the absence of a machine operator can sabotage productivity goals for the day. While more automated bending systems are being sold to North American fabricators, many shops still require an operator to sit in front of the press brake to get parts formed.
Teradyne and Universal Robots Announce Agreement for Teradyne to Acquire Universal Robots, Leader in Collaborative Robots
Teradyne, Inc. (NYSE:TER) and the shareholders of Universal Robots (UR) today announced they have signed a definitive agreement under which Teradyne will acquire privately held Universal Robots, the Danish pioneer of collaborative robots, for $285 million net of cash acquired plus $65 million if certain performance targets are met extending through 2018. The acquisition has been approved by the Board of Directors of each company and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2015 subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval.